Although many believe Canelo Alvarez to be the middleweight division’s top dog, it is WBO middleweight titleholder Demetrius Andrade who holds the last piece of the undisputed championship puzzle.
But with the attention being solely focused on Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin and their potential third fight, Andrade is still far from many boxing fans’ minds when it comes to the best or most popular 160-pound boxer in the world.
Andrade does boast an impressive amateur and professional resume. Andrade fought in the 2008 Olympics, has had hundreds of bouts in the amateur ranks and is a two-division world champion. So the question as to why Andrade is not a bigger star may stem from the fact that some of his best years were spent in promotional limbo and many months of inactivity. Andrade attributes that as part of the reason he is not a bigger star, but knows that now is his chance to show he truly is the best middleweight in the world, even though he isn’t the most popular.
“When I had the lack of activity, it was because my promotional team did not put me in the ring as much because there were no injuries on my end. There was nothing wrong with me. I’m beautiful, I’m in shape and I’m ready to go, therefore, I’m doing my job. But they did the best that they can. Now, I’m with DAZN, another monster machine and they’re doing everything to make sure that Demetrius Andrade is the guy that needs to be seen. They’re putting me in the ring and being more active. My job is to continue to win, look good and keep the smile going,” Andrade told Fightful in a recent media conference call.
Andrade is now currently tasked with defending his WBO title against Maciej Sulecki on June 29 in a homecoming fight for Andrade. This will be Andrade’s third straight title bout at middleweight, with his last two being against Walter Kautondokwa and Artur Akavov, two fighters not known very well in the United States.
The WBO champion dismisses any claims of him not facing tough competition during his time at middleweight, putting into question some of the recent opponents for both Alvarez and Golovkin, who beat Rocky Fielding and Steve Rolls, respectively.
“If that was the case, then why didn’t Canelo face Walter Kautondokwa or why isn’t GGG in the ring with Sulecki and instead with Steve Rolls? I work hard, I’m skillful, I have the talent and I know what I’m doing in the ring and I can figure out your weakness and expose it and it will be a long night for Sulecki,” Andrade said.
Shifting his focus onto his fight against Sulecki, Andrade has an idea of how to beat the Polish boxer. Looking into Sulecki’s history of getting dropped late in big fights, Andrade will look into testing Sulecki’s chin and his goal for the night is to retain his title by being the first man to stop his challenger.
“Sulecki definitely has a pattern of getting knocked down later in the rounds. We’re definitely going to take the opportunity and test him and take him into deep waters, really see how far he’ll go. I’m really looking forward to putting that to the test and being the first guy to really stop Sulecki,” Andrade said.
Andrade vs. Sulecki for the WBO middleweight title will headline the June 29 Matchroom Boxing card streamed on DAZN from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Also on the card is a WBA super flyweight title bout between Kal Yafai and Norbelto Jimenez.